Blake P. Kavanagh
Kentucky Judicial Ethics Opinion JE-119, Judges` Membership on Internet-Based Social Networking Sites. Ethics Committee of Kentucky Judiciary (Jan. 20, 2010). This ethics opinion addresses the question, “May a Kentucky Judge or Justice, consistent with the Code of Judicial Conduct, participate in an internet-based social networking site, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, or Twitter, and be “friends” with various persons who appear before the judge in court, such as attorneys, social workers, and/or law enforcement officials?" The Ethics Committee concluded that the current answer is a "qualified yes." See the full opinion for details.
Advisory Opinion 08-176. Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics (Jan. 29, 2009). This opinion states, "Provided that the judge otherwise complies with the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, he/she may join and make use of an Internet-based social network. A judge choosing to do so should exercise an appropriate degree of discretion in how he/she uses the social network and should stay abreast of the features of any such service he/she uses as new developments may impact his/her duties under the Rules."
In Opinion 13-39, dated May 28, 2013, the Committee held "that the mere status of being a "Facebook friend," without more, is an insufficient basis to require recusal. Nor does the committee believe that a judge's impartiality may reasonably be questioned (see 22 NYCRR 100.3[E]) or that there is an appearance of impropriety (see 22 NYCRR 100.2[A]) based solely on having previously "friended" certain individuals who are now involved in some manner in a pending action."